10 things we learned in the Premier League – Matchweek 33


What did we learn during Matchweek 33 of the 2021-22 Premier League season?

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]

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.

VIDEO: PL highlights ]

Let’s get to it.

10 things we learned in the Premier League – Matchweek 33

1. Red Devils defensive overhaul needed more than anything else (Man Utd 3-2 Norwich): Look, you’re not going to compete for the Premier League with this Manchester United roster, but you can finish top four with a lot of these ingredients. Most of the backs are not some of these ingredients. Harry Maguire, like Jordan Pickford at Everton, is bafflingly different when appearing for club vs country and his trademark “arms raised, who’s fault is this?” reaction was on display a few times vs the Canaries. David De Gea has kept at least 15 of United’s point haul in the Red Devils column this season and we haven’t quite done the math but any amateur sleuths want to see what the defensive record is without Raphael Varane? Cause we bet it’s not good (NM).

2. Spurs make Conte’s latest case for spending (Spurs 0-1 Brighton): Again… this is because we’re writing from a theoretical fan’s perspective and if we’re Spurs fans we’d be red-blooded and furious after the 1-0 home loss to Brighton. But, Spurs have to let Antonio Conte complete his Tottenham teardown because most of us would agree that the man has won essentially everywhere and had almost zero misses in the personnel department so far in North London. Whatever it is that had Spurs looking sloppy and distracted when a win on Saturday could’ve made fourth place oh-so-snug in their beds, well it’s unacceptable and it seems unlikely to be the boss. Harry Kane was okay at center forward but Conte’s menacing midfield duo of Rodrigo Betancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg — while annoying — were the only other players who attempted to really take the game by its trunk. Whoever Conte thinks is responsible for matches like this popping up every three or four outings, they need to go (NM).

3. Arsenal playing without confidence (Southampton 1-0 Arsenal): The Gunners had plenty of the ball but no confidence whatsoever at St. Mary’s, as they lacked creativity and are in a really bad place. Arteta’s side has now lost three on the trot to put a huge dent in their top four hopes but there’s added concern is the way they’ve lost these games. Three defeats against midtable teams have come from nowhere but this is very similar to the start of the season where the Gunners looked shaky defensively, played without a clear plan, and had no cutting edge. Yes, they were missing Lacazette, Partey, Tierney and Tomiyasu but there was still enough quality in this Arsenal side to get past Southampton. They just never looked like they believed they could (JPW).

4. All of Leicester’s eyes on Europa Conference League (Newcastle 2-1 Leicester): You get the feeling that Brendan Rodgers has been thinking, “Get Fofana healthy and let’s cross our fingers for a European route back to Europe” for some time. Injuries and schedule congestion have crushed the Foxes this Premier League season and center back Wesley Fofana is good enough that had he stayed healthy, the club might’ve been able to stay in the top-seven picture. He’s back now, but Sunday’s loss means all rational expectations of a return to Europe rest on AS Roma and then either Marseille or Feyenoord. Ready the chihuahuas, Brendan. (NM).

5.  Hammers’ top four push all but over (West Ham 1-1 Burnley): With Spurs and Arsenal losing on Saturday, this was a big chance for West Ham to gain ground in its bid try to finish in fourth. It looks very unlikely to happen now, and that’s disappointing even if understandable in the emotional wake of getting past Lyon and into the Europa League semifinals earlier in the week. West Ham have hung in the top four race all season long. With their small squad, another top six finish would still be incredible. That must be their aim now but their hopes of reaching the UEFA Champions League through their league position are over (JPW).

6. Rangnick flips the script — and it works, in attack, with an inspired Ronaldo (Man Utd 3-2 Norwich): Before we make any analysis of tactics or personnel, which are decidedly in Ralf Rangnick’s favor, let’s first acknowledge that Ronaldo set forth on Norwich ready to make a “I swear I’m a good person” highlight reel. The megastar ran his shorts off, pressing and tracking back, and bringing teammates in for joy. Almost as if he had just been cited for slapping a phone out of a fan’s hand in United’s last match. But anyway, Jesse Lingard was a surprise starter and he looked like a man who’s been physically and verbally begging for a start under Rangnick. The work rate and vibrancy of Lingard and Ronaldo — and Anthony Elanga, who looked better this week — opened things up for Jadon Sancho, who had his best game in a while. All that said, Norwich is bereft of defenders and we probably shouldn’t be saluting a team of United’s standards and talent for showing up against a team that feels like it allows handfuls of goals per week (NM).

7. Bad performance aside, just a huge chance missed by Arsenal (Southampton 1-0 Arsenal): With Spurs losing at home to Brighton, this was a huge chance for Arsenal to take control of fourth place. They didn’t take it. The Gunners knocked the ball around nicely but never really looked like carving Southampton open and this may be the game they look back on if they don’t finish in the top four. They play Chelsea, Manchester United, West Ham, and Tottenham in their next few games and they simply have to win at least three of those to give themselves a chance of a top four finish. That sound you can hear is a huge sigh of relief from Tottenham’s fans (JPW).

8. Watford home form a season problem, but Hornets have to change their overall model (Watford 1-2 Brentford): It is clear that Watford is going to go down and its home form is what has cost them their Premier League status. They set an unwanted club record with 10-straight defeats at home and have two wins at home all season. Two. They have won three away from home and you can see why. They are a good counter-attacking team who can sit back and soak up pressure. But they can’t really do that at home and when teams allow them to possess the ball, they aren’t at their best. From Xisco to Ranieri to Hodgson, this is a squad run by decent managers, full of decent individual talent. But there is no real plan and tactically the Hornets are a mess. That is what you get when you hire and fire managers several times in a single season. … They are a yo-yo club which changes managers so often and it works for the most part. But surely the Pozzo family will be thinking about changing that model now. Perhaps they go for a former player like Sean Dyche who can bring stability and an identity? It’s clear if they want to become an established Premier League team, they need to change their model (JPW).

9. All it takes is one moment of Brighton beauty and Spurs weakness (Spurs 0-1 Brighton): Leandro Trossard absolutely froze Eric Dier with a cut and then proceeded to slice off an inch-perfect shot to beat Hugo Lloris to the far post. Most of us can agree that Spurs need better than Dier as a regular starter at center back and most can agree that Brighton need a better center forward, but Trossard’s plenty dangerous from the wing (or midfield) and he’s now claimed six points for Brighton against North London derby opposition. But we imagine Antonio Conte would relish Eric Dier as a depth piece that only starts in emergencies rather than a weekly starter (NM).

10. We’re going to talk about Bruno no, no, no (Newcastle 2-1 Leicester)Sorry, I have three kids. “Encanto” songs. Anyway, Newcastle’s resurgence is way more than Bruno Guimares — and we’ll get into that later but suffice it to say it will always bear repeating that Eddie Howe’s turned Joelinton into a center midfielder and it’s working  — but Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimares’ arrival on Tyneside is a little bit of everything that Newcastle’s new ownership needed. He’s a level of player they hadn’t bought in some time relative to his age and status, and also positionally fills a hole the club has had for even longer. Anyone who can remember Newcastle purchasing Georginio Wijnaldum, Yohan Cabaye, or Moussa Sissoko will be reminded of the club’s former status (though Sissoko and Wijnaldum were a bit too green). Bruno’s goals have been fantastic but also grimy and now timely. He’s a player who will want to see Newcastle bring in more “Brunos” this summer to stick around, but there’s not much fear there right now as Guimares has claimed desire to “be a club legend” and that will sound like a call back to better days for the Magpies faithful, when Shearers, Asprillas, and Ginolas ran free (NM).

Manchester City vs Liverpool: How to watch live, stream link, team news


Manchester City host Liverpool in a huge game for both teams as they battle for the title and a top four finish respectively.


Pep Guardiola’s Man City can momentarily cut the gap to leaders Arsenal to five points but there are question marks swirling around the fitness of goalscoring machine Erling Haaland heading into this game. City are looking for a three-peat of Premier League titles and five in the last six seasons, but Arsenal don’t look like they’re going to slip up anytime soon. So City can’t afford to either. They’ve won six in a row in all competitions, scoring 23 and conceding once in that run. We all know they love to kick on at this point of the campaign, so let’s see if they can do it again.

As for Liverpool, well, it has been one step forward and one step back pretty much all season long for Jurgen Klopp’s side. After their 7-0 shellacking of Manchester United, they then lost at Bournemouth to infuriate Klopp and their fans further. The front three of Salah, Nunez and Gakpo are all clicking through the gears nicely but Liverpool have to become more consistent and dominant games in midfield if they’re going to close the gap to the current top four. They’ve had success against City in recent years as their contrasting style of play match up well but this seems like a different, more fragile, Liverpool this season.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

Here’s everything you need for Manchester City vs Liverpool.

How to watch Manchester City vs Liverpool live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 7:30am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium

Key storylines & in-form players to watch

The fitness of Haaland is obviously a huge concern for City as he suffered a groin issue and did not play for Norway over the international break and returned to Manchester for treatment. If he isn’t fit to start then expect Julian Alvarez to come in. Elsewhere, City are flying with Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gunodgan having a big role to play with Phil Foden out following his Appendectomy. As always, Kevin de Bruyne is the main man and will relish this chance to cut Arsenal’s lead atop the table.

Liverpool just can’t find consistency right now. They have improved defensively but they are a real Jekyll and Hyde team. Jurgen Klopp isn’t a fan of that and showed his frustration after their defeat at Bournemouth, which was their last Premier League game and was way back on March 11. He’s had a few weeks to stew over that loss and it will be intriguing to see what plan he has come up with. For this game as earlier this season Liverpool beat Man City 1-0 at Anfield by playing a front four which pinned City in.

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Erling Haaland (groin) | OUT: Phil Foden (appendix removed)

Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Calvin Ramsay (knee), Stefan Bajcetic (groin) | QUESTIONABLE: Luis Diaz (knee), Darwin Nunez (ankle), Kostas Tsimikas (rib), Thiago Alcantara (hip), Joe Gomez (undisclosed)

Erling Haaland injury: Manchester City assess star


Manchester City star Erling Haaland left the Norway squad during the international break after suffering a groin injury.

Our partners in the UK at Sky Sports News say that Haaland missed team training on Thursday, less than 48 hours before the huge game against Liverpool this weekend.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Haaland, 22, joined up with Norway for their EURO 2024 qualifiers but has been sent back to Manchester City for treatment.

That meant he went to Marbella and then Barcelona in Spain for specialist treatment and he is now back in Manchester recovering from the groin injury he picked up against Burnley.

The Norwegian striker has been in stunning form in recent weeks, scoring nine goals in his last three games in all competitions for City (including five against RB Leipzig in the Champions League and a hat trick against Burnley in the FA Cup) before the break.

He has scored 42 (yes, forty two) goals in all competitions for Man City this season.

However, Pep Guardiola and Man City now face an anxious wait as an injury to Erling Haaland is the last thing they wanted before a pivotal final few months of the season as they chase the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.

What is the latest update?

Norway’s team doctor, Ola Sand, gave an update on Haaland’s injury.

“We hoped that this was just a familiarity that would carry over to Saturday, but after doing tests and examinations yesterday it became clear that he will not make it to the games against Spain and Georgia,” Sand said. “It is better that he receives medical follow-up at the club.”

Norway face Spain on Saturday and Georgia next Tuesday, so it seems like Haaland is in a race to be fit for Man City’s games after the international break.

Which games could he miss?

After the international break Man City are playing in the first game of the weekend as they host Liverpool on Saturday, Apr. 1 at the Etihad Stadium.

It seems like Haaland could be struggling to be fully fit for that game, and maybe even the trip to Southampton on Apr. 8, so Pep Guardiola may choose to rest him for their massive UEFA Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Bayern Munich on Apr. 11.

Given the form Haaland is in right now, it will be a blow for City if he does miss the next few games but the last thing they want is any long-term damage. Plus, it’s helpful to have the likes of World Cup winner Julian Alvarez in reserve to step in for Haaland.

Premier League relegation history – What do the stats tell us about this season?


With nine teams currently separated by four points, from 20th to 12th places, the 2022-23 Premier League relegation scrap is not only set to last until the final day, but the final two months of the season are sure to be one of the wildest roller-coaster rides of all time.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]  

Three clubs will be relegated from the Premier League (and replaced by three teams from the EFL Championship, of course) at season’s end. Never before have this many clubs been this close to the bottom-three, and the bottom of the table, at this point of a season.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League table for 2022-23 season ]

Below is everything you need to know about the relegation scrap set to unfold over the final eight weeks of the 2022-23 season…

Who are the clubs in this year’s Premier League relegation scrap?

Crystal Palace – 27 points, 12th place
Wolves – 27 points, 13th place
Leeds – 26 points, 14th place
Everton – 26 points, 15th place
Nottingham Forest – 26 points, 16th place
Leicester – 25 points, 17th place
West Ham – 24 points, 18th place
Bournemouth – 24 points, 19th place
Southampton – 23 points, 20th place

What was the magic number to avoid relegation in recent seasons?

2022: 36 points
2021: 29 points
2020: 35 points
2019: 35 points
2018: 34 points
2017: 35 points
2016: 38 points
2015: 36 points
2014: 34 points
2013: 37 points
2012: 37 points
2011: 40 points
2010: 31 points
2009: 35 points
2008: 36 points

When was the last time each club was relegated from the Premier League/top flight?

Fulham: 2021 (promoted 2022 – 1 season in PL)
Bournemouth: 2020 (promoted 2022 – 1 season)
Aston Villa: 2016 (promoted 2020 – 4 seasons)
Newcastle: 2016 (promoted 2017 – 6 seasons)
Wolves: 2012 (promoted 2018 – 5 seasons)
West Ham: 2011 (promoted 2012 – 11 seasons)
Southampton: 2005 (promoted 2012 – 11 seasons)
Crystal Palace: 2005 (promoted 2013 – 10 seasons)
Leeds: 2004 (promoted 2020 – 3 seasons)
Leicester: 2004 (promoted 2014 – 9 seasons)
Manchester City: 2001 (promoted 2002 – 21 seasons)
Nottingham Forest: 1999 (promoted 2022 – 1 season)
Chelsea: 1988 (promoted 1989 – 34 seasons)
Brighton: 1983 (promoted 2017 – 6 seasons)
Tottenham: 1977 (promoted 1978 – 45 seasons)
Manchester United: 1974 (promoted in 1975 – 48 seasons)
Liverpool: 1954 (promoted 1962 – 61 seasons)
Everton: 1951 (promoted 1954 – 69 seasons)
Brentford: 1947 (promoted 2021 – 2 seasons)
Arsenal: 1913 (promoted 1915 – 103 seasons)

How many games remaining between relegation candidates?

There are 23 remaining head-to-head matchups between the nine teams currently in the relegation battle.

Crystal Palace: 8 games (1 against every other team)
Wolves: 4 games
Leeds: 5 games
Everton: 4 games
Nottingham Forest: 4 games
Leicester: 6 games
West Ham: 5 games
Bournemouth: 6 games
Southampton: 4 games

Follow @AndyEdMLS

Ever Wonder what happened to Leicester City’s title-winning team?


Our ‘Ever Wonder’ series will run throughout the 2022-23 Premier League season and focuses on key stories behind the history, tradition and culture of all 20 Premier League clubs.

[ MORE: Check out our ‘Ever Wonder’ series in full ]

Have you ever sat there and wondered why certain chants became iconic at a club? Why a team has a certain nickname? Why they play in those colors? How they were founded? Yep, us too.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

This season we will be digging deep to tell the stories of the rich history, tradition and culture from around the Premier League and give you the answers to things you want to know more about.

Ever Wonder where the Leicester title-winning team is now?

With odds of 5000-1 to win the Premier League title in 2015-16, Leicester City pulled off one of the greatest shocks in sports history.

But have you ever wondered ‘hey, what is that Leicester team up to now? What happened to them?’

Premier League Social Media wrap
Getty Images

Club legends and captains

After captaining them to FA Cup glory and being the main man in recent years, goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel left Leicester in 2022 and is now starring for Nice in France.

Getty Images

Right back Danny Simpson, center backs Robert Huth and Wes Morgan and left back Christian Fuchs have all retired with the latter playing for Charlotte FC in MLS in 2022.

Morgan lifting the Premier League trophy alongside beloved manager Claudio Ranieri, who is still coaching in Italy in Serie B with Cagliari, is an image that is in sporting folklore.

Superstars move on to even more glory

In midfield, N’Golo Kante has gone on to win the Premier League again and Champions League, among other trophies, with Chelsea. Internationally – he started every game for France as they won the World Cup in 2018.

His midfield partner at Leicester – Danny Drinkwater – also joined Chelsea, but is currently without a club after loan moves across the Premier League, Turkey and the Championship.

Winger Riyad Mahrez is a star at Manchester City, winning three more Premier League titles, while on the other wing, Marc Albrighton left Leicester on loan in January 2023 for West Bromwich Albion in the Championship but is still contracted to the club.

Manchester City v Aston Villa - Premier League
Getty Images

Veterans still plugging away and one continues to party…

Striker Shinji Okazaki is playing in Belgium for Sint-Truiden, while fellow forward Leonardo Ulloa retired after spells in Mexico and Spain.

Meanwhile – veteran striker Jamie Vardy is of course still at Leicester, and will forever go down as a club legend.

He played a key part in their FA Cup triumph and recent European exploits, and won the Premier League Golden Boot award three years ago. He never misses a party.

As for the other key contributors off the bench, Demarai Gray is at Everton, Jeffrey Schlupp is at Crystal Palace, Ben Chilwell is at Chelsea and is England’s second-choice left back, Richie de Laet is still playing at Royal Antwerp, Andy King is at Bristol City and Nathan Dyer has retired.

Wherever they are now, this group of players will always be known as the team who pulled off one of the greatest upsets the sporting world has ever seen.

Getty Images