Here’s a look at 10 things which stood out, as our writers Joe Prince-Wright (JPW), Nicholas Mendola (NM) and Andy Edwards (AE) share their observations from across the most recent Premier League games.
1. City are the champions-elect (Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea): Liverpool are the only team that can catch City now and even if they win their games in-hand, they need City to lose three of their final 16 games to have a chance of winning the title. That doesn’t seem likely. City have won 12 in a row and have been consistently excellent throughout the last three months. Guardiola has rotated his team perfectly and different players are stepping up all the time. City are the champions elect, even if they don’t want to admit it (JPW).
2. Rangnick’s men run out of steam (Aston Villa 2-2 Manchester United): Those who criticized Cristiano Ronaldo’s pressing work rate would’ve been yelling, “See?!? See?!?” at their TV screens as Manchester United buzzed all over Villa in the opening 30 minutes, as it was the hosts were trying to hold firm under siege. But the Red Devils had no gas left in the tank during a second half of struggle, and Rangnick didn’t sub until the 78th minute (Jadon Sancho). Only two more followed as Jesse Lingard and Donny van de Beek said hello for 89th-minute cameos. It took all of one half to go from buzzing to buzz-sawed. (NM)
3. No Salah, no Mane, no problem (so far) (Liverpool 3-0 Brentford): Liverpool are perhaps feeling rather fortunate that Salah and Mane will likely miss just two Premier League games while on international duty at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. Fortunate, because the Reds’ attack predictably lacked the cutting edge and final-third expertise typically on display at Anfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain started on the wing in their absences, and though Oxlade-Chamberlain is serviceable in a number of positions due to him being a well-rounded footballer, he possesses very few of the things which make Salah and Mane truly exceptional. (AE)
4. Lukaku has a point about Chelsea’s playing style (Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea): When he revealed he wasn’t a fan of Tuchel’s tactics, many questioned what the heck Lukaku was talking about. Maybe he’s got a point? Lukaku made so many good runs, especially in the first half, but Chelsea were slow on the ball and not direct enough to find him. He needs a partner up top, someone like Werner? In the second half Lukaku was denied by Ederson with his only chance of the game and Chelsea have to find a way to get the best out of him if they want to win other trophies and defend their Champions League trophy. Their Premier League dreams are done after this defeat. (JPW)
5. Raphinha at peak of his powers (West Ham 2-3 Leeds): Harrison will get all of the headlines, and rightly so, but Raphinha was superb for Leeds. He put the ball on a plate for Harrison to score the winner, set up another that was disallowed and smacked the woodwork with a fine free kick. The Brazilian is getting better by the week and you can understand why top teams across Europe are chasing his signature. What a wonderful talent who makes everything look so easy when he’s on the ball, but he also works so hard to win it back. (JPW)
ARCHIVE - 10 things we learned in the Premier League
6. Don’t sleep on Philippe (Aston Villa 2-2 Manchester United): He had less than a quarter of an hour to make the difference, and Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho danced on Manchester United like he was still playing for Liverpool. His 32 minutes only saw about 16 touches of the ball, but one was an assist, another was a goal, and a third was a shot on target. He hasn’t been a featured player in some time, but Coutinho is not terribly far removed from a double-digit goal and assist season on loan to Bayern Munich. Steven Gerrard is tapping his temple like the famous meme right now, members only. (NM)
7. Home form hampering Hammers (West Ham 2-3 Leeds): West Ham have picked up more points on the road than at home this season, and that is unbelievable. The Hammers have lost at home to Southampton, Brentford and now Leeds, as they struggle to stop teams hitting them on the counter when they are expected to take the initiative in games. David Moyes’ side missed a great chance to boost their top four hopes and sorting out their home form against teams in the bottom half of the table is something they need to do if they’re going to qualify for Europe. (JPW)
8. Howe gets it wrong (Newcastle 1-1 Watford): Eddie Howe has a lot of explaining to do after his team had no idea what to do with its second-half lead. Fair play to the attack, as the Magpies should’ve been ahead by plenty after 45 minutes but totally took their foot off the gas pedal following Saint-Maximin’s 49th-minute tally. Watford had nearly 60 percent of the ball in the second half and Howe didn’t make any subs until the 74th minute as his team was out-attempted 9-2 in the final 45 minutes as Joe Willock was an unused sub and Miguel Almiron only got four minutes on the pitch. They needed three points and got one, and there should be real questions about a manager who was relegated in his last period of a long, successful period at Bournemouth. (NM)
9. VAR causes controversy (Wolves 3-1 Southampton): Wolves got a penalty and Southampton didn’t for two very similar situations. Bednarek caught Ait-Nouri and a spot kick was given, while Romeu was clipped by Dendoncker and nothing was given. It was a clear case of a lack of consistency and Southampton will feel aggrieved that referee Michael Salisbury wasn’t called to the pitch-side monitor like he had been for Wolves’ penalty. (JPW)
10. No relief for Rafa, still (Norwich 2-1 Everton): Everton, a club which has spent nearly $700 million on transfers since Farhad Moshiri purchased the club in February 2016, are just six points clear of the relegation zone after playing half of their games for the season. Injured players are returning to the team, but the team is not improving. The Toffees have now won just one of their last 13 Premier League games (1W-2D-10L). A banner reading “Benitez, get out of our club” was unfurled in the away end immediately after the full-time whistle. UPDATE: Benitez has since been fired.
The future of Lionel Messi has largely been linked with another season at Paris Saint-Germain or a move to Major League Soccer, but his former club is an option and no longer just lurking in the weeds.
“If we talk about La Masia academy and youth players, we are talking about Leo,” Yuste said. “He arrived here when he was 12 years old. Of course, I would love to have him back. I say it personally. But I think that many of our supporters would love that too.
“For everything he would represent if he came back. Not only talking about a sportive, economic, and social levels, among other issues.
“But also because I think that all beautiful stories must have a happy ending. And answering your question, my answer is yes. We are in contact with them (referring to Messi and his father and agent Jorge Messi).”
Barcelona beat Real Madrid last month to virtually assure a return to La Liga’s champions circle. Xavi’s side has only allowed nine goals in La Liga play, but it’s scoring totals are down and a Messi and Robert Lewandowski pairing remains terrifying despite their advanced age (and don’t forget Raphinha).
As for Messi, he’s far removed from his days of threatening to score 100 goals in a calendar year but he’s still the most prolific player in Ligue 1. Messi has 26 goal contributions this season including a league-best 13 assists. FotMob’s player rating system has him as far-and-away the best player this Ligue 1 season.
Does Barcelona or PSG offer him a better chance to win another European Cup, and would that even matter if the alternative provided by MLS is generationally lucrative in how it sets up his already potential-filled future.
Can Borussia Dortmund keep its position in the catbird seat with a Klassiker win over reigning champions Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Saturday?
Or will they former manager land a major blow for his new side, as Thomas Tuchel takes the reins of wounded Bayern. The 10-time defending champions fell out of first with a 2-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen that sent Julian Nagelsmann packing (for North London?).
BVB is in pursuit of its first Meisterschale since the 2011-12 season, its eighth in history. It’s been all Bayern since then, as the Bavarians have claimed 10-consecutive league crowns.
Here’s the thing: If Bayern really had problems between its players and Nagelsmann, they weren’t totally manifesting themselves on the pitch. Bayern’s 72 goals are 17 more than anyone else in the Bundesliga and its 27 conceded are one better than second-place Union Berlin.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund.
How to watch Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 12:30pm ET, Saturday TV Channel/Online:Stream via ESPN+
Updates: Scoreboard, stats, more at Scoreboard.nbcsports.com
Key storylines & star players
Bayern’s all about controlling the game, and it does so with aplomb thanks to Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka. The side has pace for days and has also gotten monstrous amounts of creativity from Alphonso Davies and Jamal Musiala. There’s no Robert Lewandowski, but Bayern spreads the goals around through Musiala (11), Choupo-Moting (10), and Serge Gnabry (9). Manuel Neuer’s out, but the club’s quickly filled his space with Yann Sommer.
Dortmund slipped itself a couple of matches ago, a 2-2 draw in the Revierderby, but it bounded back with a 6-1 demolition of Koln. Bundesliga assist hero Raphael Guerreiro scored in that game while Sebastien Haller and Marco Reus both posted braces. Reus remains the heart of the club and has been a boon for Edin Terzic. A wild card is USMNT star Giovanni Reyna, who has posted terrific advanced stats in Bundesliga play but is still mainly just getting 15-20 minute cameos if he plays at all for BVB.
Bayern Munich team news, injuries, lineup options
QUESTIONABLE: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (back), Paul Wanner (adductor), Jamal Musiala (hamstring), Mathys Tel (muscular), Arijon Ibrahimovic (virus). OUT: Lucas Hernandez (ACL), Manuel Neuer (leg)
Borussia Dortmund team news, injuries, lineup options
QUESTIONABLE: Mateu Morey (fitness), Thomas Meunier (back), Youssoufa Moukoko (ligaments), Karim Adeyemi (muscular), Giovanni Reyna (illness).
How to watch Bournemouth vs Fulham live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday TV Channel: Peacock Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Key storylines & in-form players to watch
Gary O’Neil has set Bournemouth up to be dangerous on the counter attack and that works well against teams who love to dominate possession. Fulham love to do that and this tactic could suit the Cherries in this game. Dominic Solanke has led the line superbly, Neto has been excellent in goal and Dango Ouatrara has been sensational since arriving in January as his speed and direct running has given Bournemouth an extra dimension.
Fulham have just lost their way after an incredible season so far. They are still in the battle for European qualification as they sit in the top 10 and now they have to finish the campaign strong to keep positive vibes flowing. Marco Silva wants them to snap into challenges, press high and keep the ball when they have it and they are horrible to play against.
Bournemouth team news, injuries, lineup options
QUESTIONABLE: Junior Stanislas (undisclosed), Marcus Tavernier (thigh), Illia Zabarnyi (foot), Adam Smith (groin)
Remember: you can watch all 380 Premier League games across NBC, USA Network, NBCSports.com and Peacock. We’ve got you covered.
Will Manchester City win yet another Premier League title? Can Arsenal push them all the way? Will Chelsea and Liverpool recover to finish in the top four? Can Manchester United’s new-look side surge into the title race? What about Tottenham? How will the new boys get on? Who will be the surprise package?
Those questions will be answered from August 2022 to May 2023, with the full list of Premier League fixtures.
While below are the answers to all of the questions you have around the Premier League fixtures and everything else you need to know for the upcoming season, with full details on the Premier League TV schedule across the NBC family of channels and more.
The Premier League fixtures for the 2022-23 season were announced on Thursday June 16, 2022 at 4am ET. Below is the full schedule, as you can watch all 380 games across our NBC platforms.
The Premier League fixture computer decides who plays who and when, as teams located close to one another are usually playing at home on opposite weekends to help with policing, crowd control and transport congestion in those areas.
When will the Premier League take a break for the 2022 World Cup?
When will the 2022-23 Premier League season finish?
The final day of the season will be on Sunday, May 28, 2023.
Which teams will compete in the 2022-23 Premier League?
These are the 20 teams which will compete in the Premier League for the upcoming season:
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, Leeds United, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers
2:45pm: AFC Bournemouth v Brighton
2:45pm: Leeds v Nottingham Forest
2:45pm: Leicester vs Aston Villa
3pm: Chelsea vs Liverpool
Wednesday 5 April
3pm: Man United v Brentford
3pm: West Ham v Newcastle
Saturday 8 April
7:30am: Man Utd v Everton
Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest
Brentford v Newcastle
Fulham v West Ham
Leicester v AFC Bournemouth
Spurs v Brighton
Wolves v Chelsea
12:30pm: Southampton v Man City
Sunday 9 April
9am: Leeds v Crystal Palace
11:30am: Liverpool v Arsenal
Saturday 15 April
7:30am: Aston Villa v Newcastle
Chelsea v Brighton
Everton v Fulham
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Spurs v AFC Bournemouth
Wolves v Brentford
12:30pm: Man City v Leicester
Sunday 16 April
9am: West Ham v Arsenal
11:30am: Nottingham Forest v Man Utd
Monday 17 April
3pm: Leeds v Liverpool
Friday 21 April
3pm: Arsenal v Southampton
Saturday 22 April
7:30am: Fulham v Leeds
Brentford v Aston Villa
Crystal Palace v Everton
Leicester v Wolves
Liverpool v Nottingham Forest
Sunday 23 April
9am: AFC Bournemouth v West Ham
9am: Newcastle v Spurs
Postponed due to European action
Man Utd v Chelsea
Brighton v Man City
Tuesday 25 April
2:30pm: Wolves v Crystal Palace
2:45pm: Aston Villa v Fulham
2:45pm: Leeds v Leicester
Wednesday 26 April
2:30pm: Nottingham Forest v Brighton
2:45pm: Chelsea v Brentford
2:45pm: West Ham v Liverpool
3pm: Man City v Arsenal
Thursday 27 April
2:45pm: Everton v Newcastle
2:45pm: Southampton v AFC Bournemouth
3:15pm: Spurs v Man Utd
Saturday 29 April
7:30am: Crystal Palace v West Ham
Brentford v Nottingham Forest
Brighton v Wolves
12:30pm: Arsenal v Chelsea
Sunday 30 April
9am: AFC Bournemouth v Leeds
9am: Fulham v Man City
9am: Man Utd v Aston Villa
9am: Newcastle v Southampton
11:30am: Liverpool v Spurs
Monday 1 May
3pm: Leicester v Everton
Wednesday 3 May
3pm: Liverpool v Fulham
3pm: Man City v West Ham
Thursday 4 May
3pm: Brighton v Man Utd
Saturday 6 May
AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea
Spurs v Crystal Palace
Wolves v Aston Villa
12:30pm: Liverpool v Brentford
Sunday 7 May
9am: Man City v Leeds* subject to possible Champions League schedule
11:30am: Newcastle v Arsenal
2pm: West Ham v Man Utd
Monday 8 May
10am: Fulham v Leicester
12:30pm: Brighton v Everton
3pm: Nottingham Forest v Southampton
Saturday 13 May
Arsenal v Brighton
Aston Villa v Spurs
Brentford v West Ham
Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
Crystal Palace v AFC Bournemouth
Everton v Man City
Leeds v Newcastle
Leicester v Liverpool
Man Utd v Wolves
Southampton v Fulham
Saturday 20 May
AFC Bournemouth v Man Utd
Brighton v Southampton
Fulham v Crystal Palace
Liverpool v Aston Villa
Man City v Chelsea
Newcastle v Leicester
Nottingham Forest v Arsenal
Spurs v Brentford
West Ham v Leeds
Wolves v Everton
Sunday 28 May
16:00 Arsenal v Wolves
16:00 Aston Villa v Brighton
16:00 Brentford v Man City
16:00 Chelsea v Newcastle
16:00 Crystal Palace v Nottingham Forest
16:00 Everton v AFC Bournemouth
16:00 Leeds v Spurs
16:00 Leicester v West Ham
16:00 Man Utd v Fulham
16:00 Southampton v Liverpool